AC Energy commits ‘early retirement’ of coal plant for ‘net zero’ goal


Listed firm AC Energy Corporation (ACEN) is committing ‘early retirement’ of its remaining coal-fired power plant in line with the Ayala group’s overall ‘net zero’ target through year 2050.

The Ayala firm said its management will employ ‘energy transition mechanism’ (ETM) “for the early retirement of its remaining coal plant – the South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC) – by 2040, 15 years ahead of its technical life.”

In that strategy, the Ayala firm indicated that its affiliate bank, BPI Capital Corporation, will be the lead arranger for the propounded ETM for the SLTEC coal-fired power facility’s phaseout.

As designed, ETM is an innovative funding mechanism “that leverages low-cost and long-term funding geared towards early retirement and reinvestment of proceeds to enable renewable energy.”

Beyond that decisive step of shelving its coal plant, part of the ‘net zero’ strategy of the Ayala energy firm is to go 100-percent renewables by year 2025 – that is the timeframe when its renewable energy portfolio across markets in Asia will already reach 5,000 megawatts.

As professed by ACEN President and CEO Eric T. Francia, “being at the forefront of the energy transition goes hand in hand with our commitment to net zero. We will work closely with the Ayala group and continue to collaborate with our stakeholders as we carry out this important journey.”

While the biggest markets in the world – the likes of Europe, China and India – are being tormented with energy crisis predicaments and are compelled on switching back their coal plants, many Philippine energy sector players are bent on advancing the ‘clean energy transition’ pathway – and ACEN is among those leading the pack.

In particular, ACEN and the Ayala group partnered with South Pole, a global climate change solutions provider, so the Filipino conglomerate could “have an accurate view of emissions across its core business units and a tangible roadmap of reducing them in line with net zero by 2050 ambition.”

The Ayala company announced that in the next 12 months, ACEN and South Pole shall craft the detailed greenhouse gas footprint that will cover “all relevant scope 3 emissions from the value chain – which is considered net zero best practice.”

Additionally, South Pole will “assess potential emission reduction activities and strategies to help ACEN prioritize and budget for these interventions across its core business units,” which in essence would guarantee the practical steps to be taken “to reduce emissions as quickly as possible.”

The Ayala energy firm and its climate change solutions partner will likewise set interim targets that shall be aligned with the 1.5 degrees C temperature warming limit, and this shall be concretized “across the core business units to ensure ACEN has robust and measurable milestones along its journey to net zero by 2050.”

For corporates to achieve net zero targets, they shall be able to completely negate the greenhouse gas emissions from their business operations – and this can be done by tangibly reducing carbon emissions or implementing methods that can absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

The net zero goals, not just of business entities and countries, will take center stage during the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Climate Change Summit that will open in Glasgow, Scotland this November. ###

Source: Manila Bulletin (